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221  Economy / Speculation / Re: Japan is new China? on: October 31, 2014, 08:04:03 PM
The difference is that the Chinese distrust their government and are looking to get money out of China. They also have a huge network of people outside China, that can receive that money. Neither is true for Japan.
Not quite. The difference is that China has exchange controls. Converting yuan to dollars or euros is hard. That's what drove the Bitcoin bubble in China - it was a way to convert yuan to Bitcoins to dollars.

Japan has no exchange controls. Any major bank will convert yen to dollars or euros.  Today's rate is 112.30 yen/dollar.
222  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Only 250K wallets in use? (Where did bitcoin go wrong vid) on: October 30, 2014, 07:56:54 AM
Well, face it, since the China bubble collapsed and Mt. Gox went bust, Bitcoin has gone sideways for six months. Transaction volume in USD is flat, and the price has gone down slowly. Difficulty went to the moon as the ASIC guys ramped up, but that's leveling off now, too.
223  Economy / Speculation / Re: QE3 ended, good or bad news for BTC price? on: October 30, 2014, 07:12:42 AM
This was anticipated, so it had little effect on the stock market.

Not much effect on Bitcoin, either.
224  Economy / Speculation / Re: Bitcoin transaction volume in USD is surprisingly flat. on: October 29, 2014, 05:24:24 AM

Flat for six months.

There's the China spike, and the Mt. Gox collapse spike.  Then 6 months of flat.  It's interesting that volume in USD has remained roughly constant as the price has varied over a 2:1 range.
225  Bitcoin / Mining speculation / Re: Difficulty slowdown: Is this turning into a long-term trend? [Discussion Thread] on: October 26, 2014, 08:06:26 PM
Even at the new, "slow" rate, difficulty is growing over 100%/year. ROI declines accordingly.
226  Economy / Speculation / Re: Any theories behind the explosion this morning? on: October 26, 2014, 08:01:32 PM
Lake BTC's own site doesn't show a spike. This seems to be Coindesk screwing up all by itself.

Coindesk: "The CoinDesk Bitcoin Price Index provides the latest and most accurate bitcoin price" ... "international reference point"

Yeah, right.  They're obviously not doing any validity checking. If there's a sudden big divergence between exchanges, that's an alarm condition in the real world, where those numbers feed trading engines.
227  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Cost of production linked to the price? on: October 25, 2014, 05:59:44 AM
So some people claim that coins are worthless if the cost of production is near zero. Other people claim that it doesn't matter what the cost to producing a coin is as there are other factors that determine the price.

What are your opinions?
The cost of mining has little influence on the price of Bitcoin. The price of Bitcoin has a considerable influence on mining activity. Look at the price and difficulty charts for the last six months.
228  Economy / Speculation / Re: $350 is VERY important... make it or break it level on: October 25, 2014, 05:53:54 AM
In the last three weeks, the price has been briefly above $400 and briefly below $300. Right now, it's around $350. What's special about $350?
229  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: Are you all idiots? ...or what? on: October 24, 2014, 06:02:24 PM
99.9% of the time, paying with bitcoin goes through a payment processor such as bitpay, bitpay instantly sells your bitcoins for FIAT hence putting sell pressure on the market. So basically if people take your advice right now and start buying products with bitcoins, the price will fall.
If nobody uses Bitcoins for transactions, interest in Bitcoin will decline. Without transactions, Bitcoin is a penny stock with no assets behind it.
230  Economy / Speculation / Re: $350 is VERY important... make it or break it level on: October 24, 2014, 06:00:19 PM
Well, $358 right now on Bitstamp.

Incidentally, Bitcoincharts is broken again. Their Bitstamp data is 3 hours old, and their Bitfinex  data is a week old.

(Remember that Bitcoincharts is a Mark Karpeles, of Mt. Gox fame, operation.)
231  Bitcoin / Bitcoin Discussion / Re: I have a Bitcoin debit card in my hands... on: October 22, 2014, 06:40:21 PM
Can you post a picture of the card in your hands? Just some proof that its not edited.
The question is not whether the photo is legit. It's just a Tay-Two debit card, which you can buy at Tay-Two stores (video, music, toys, etc.) in Japan. The question is whether the Bitcoin business is actually connected with the Tay-Two/Cardflex business.  This thing may work by the Bitcoin service registering your debit card as theirs and constantly querying the Cardflex servers to see what the card is doing. They may not be plugged into the credit/debit card infrastructure at all.

If that's the case, this won't scale. At some point Cardflex will figure out what's going on.
232  Economy / Speculation / Re: US exchanges coming online on: October 19, 2014, 05:02:17 AM
Will be too expensive to get license due to the "transferable" (since you can move the coin anywhere in the world) nature of bitcoin.
Bitcoin exchanges aren't that cheap, either. Most US online stockbrokers (Etrade, TD, Schwab) charge about $9-10 a trade. Bitstamp charges about $10 on a $1000 trade, and $40 on a $10,000 trade. BTC-E is about the same; their terms are kind of vague about what they actually charge, so it's hard to tell. Buy $100 worth of Bitcoins through Robocoin, and you'll pay about $20 in spread and fees.

The track record of Bitcoin exchanges is that over half have gone bust, usually taking the customer's money with them. With a real SEC-registered broker, you get insurance on your funds on deposit.
233  Economy / Speculation / Re: US exchanges coming online on: October 18, 2014, 04:51:15 AM
I would say the reason they haven't appeared is the absence of a clear regulatory framework.
There is a clear regulatory framework in the US. You register with the SEC as a broker/dealer. You buy SIPC insurance coverage. You get audited and regulated by FINRA. If you dip into customer funds, you go to jail.

There's a question as to whether you have to be a broker/dealer to operate a Bitcoin exchange in the US. If you are a broker/dealer, it's just another investment you can deal in.

234  Economy / Speculation / Re: No correlation whatsoever with market on: October 16, 2014, 06:10:48 AM
When is BTC coupled with action in FIAT market?!
BTC prices are surprisingly decoupled from almost everything financial. Bitcoin difficulty goes to the moon, price goes nowhere. More retailers accept Bitcoin, price goes nowhere. Stock market goes up or down, Bitcoin goes in different direction.

The big events in Bitcoin price changes seem to involve people trying to get around some government restriction (China, Silk Road) or a big player failing (Mt. Gox).
235  Other / Meta / Re: Forum issue: "" rejecting some HTTP requests. on: October 16, 2014, 06:04:14 AM
Update @Newar, it is in Meta. Theymos answered too.

Yes, I see. Even before he posted this topic here, odd  Huh

It didn't answer my observation, but it's back to normal for me.
Right, this belongs in Meta. I had Meta blocked and forgot it existed, so I stuck it under "Technical Support"
236  Other / Meta / Re: HTTP timeout problem on: October 16, 2014, 05:09:35 AM
You're not allowed to access the forum more frequently that once per second on average.

I think that each time you send a request to, you also download all of the image/CSS assets. Doing this several times puts you over the burst limit. I see this sort of limit being reached by your IP in the logs.
All it takes is two requests to be blacklisted for a minute or so. This is only true for HTTP requests. You can do HTTPS requests rapidly without penalty, so it's a pointless feature. All you get from an HTTP request for this site is a redirect to the HTTPS URL, anyway. Whatever generates the redirects is doing the useless blacklisting.

"wget" won't download the image and CSS assets at all. It just fetches a file; it doesn't parse it like a browser.

The crawler program is doing this is because it's trying "" and "", both with HTTP and HTTPS requests, to figure out what redirects to what. It doesn't read all of the page; it just opens the URL, reads the HTTP header, and closes. Once it's done that, it reads the home page in its entirety. That fails, because of the strange blacklisting mechanism. None of this reads the CSS or images.

What's doing that? Simple Machines? Some firewall? If this is a generic problem with other sites, I'd like to know about it.
237  Other / Meta / Forum issue: "" rejecting some HTTP requests. on: October 15, 2014, 11:33:59 PM
Try doing


three times in quick succession. The first two will succeed. The third one will stall, wget will retry, and then it will work.

This seems to be some kind of DDOS prevention thing, but failing after two tries is way too soon.  I noticed this because our web crawler at "" thinks is down, or has no web site.

What's doing this?
238  Other / Meta / HTTP timeout problem on: October 15, 2014, 09:53:13 PM
Here's an interesting bug, which may be related to some DDOS-prevention tool on "". Our SiteTruth site rating system keeps reporting that "" has no web site. This is because, if you make certain HTTP requests more than twice to "", the site blocks you for a minute. At the bottom of this post is a Python 2.7 program you can use to demonstrate this. The output of the program looks like this:

Try 0:
MyURLOpener opening request: [('Accept', '*/*'), ('User-agent', ' site rating system')]
 Opened OK.
Try 1:
MyURLOpener opening request: [('Accept', '*/*'), ('User-agent', ' site rating system')]
 Opened OK.
Try 2:
MyURLOpener opening request: [('Accept', '*/*'), ('User-agent', ' site rating system')]
 Open FAILED: ('', u'HTTP error - timed out.')
Waiting 60 seconds before retry.
Try 3:
MyURLOpener opening request: [('Accept', '*/*'), ('User-agent', ' site rating system')]
 Opened OK.
Try 4:
MyURLOpener opening request: [('Accept', '*/*'), ('User-agent', ' site rating system')]
 Opened OK.
Try 5:
MyURLOpener opening request: [('Accept', '*/*'), ('User-agent', ' site rating system')]
 Open FAILED: ('', u'HTTP error - timed out.')
Waiting 60 seconds before retry.
Try 6:
MyURLOpener opening request: [('Accept', '*/*'), ('User-agent', ' site rating system')]
 Opened OK.
Try 7:
MyURLOpener opening request: [('Accept', '*/*'), ('User-agent', ' site rating system')]
 Opened OK.
Try 8:
MyURLOpener opening request: [('Accept', '*/*'), ('User-agent', ' site rating system')]
 Open FAILED: ('', u'HTTP error - timed out.')
Waiting 60 seconds before retry.

This continues indefinitely - two successful opens, then a timeout, wait 1 minute, repeat.

It's not clear what sets this off.  Browsers don't seem to trigger it. Our site rating system does, though. When it starts rating a site, it makes a few requests ("", "", an HTTPS request, etc., checking for redirects and trying to find the front door to the site.) That's enough to trigger this.

Anyone associated with the site know what's going on, and what's in the path to the site? This could be some load-balancer or firewall problem.

How do you contact the people behind "bitcointalk", anyway.

The code:

#   Test for SiteTruth URL timeout bug.
import urlparse
import urllib2
import time
import encodings

kuseragent = " site rating system"    # USER-AGENT sent when crawling
kdefaultsockettimeout = 15.0        # allow this much time seconds for socket timeout

#   Class InfoException  --  used for exceptions related to a page or URL
#   Usage:   InfoException(url, message)
class InfoException(Exception) :
   "Information from external website was not as expected"
   def __init__(self, *args) :            # Initializer
      self.url = args[0]               # save troubled URL
      self.errmsg = unicode(args[1])      # save problem
      Exception.__init__(self,args)      # initialize parent

   def __unicode__(self) :               # convert to string
      msg = u'Problem with page "%s": %s.' % (self.url, self.errmsg)

def open(purl) :
        try:                                        # catch only "Unicode error" in URL
            headers = { "User-agent" : kuseragent }  # set our user agent
            req = urllib2.Request(purl, None, headers)      # build request
            #    Workaround for Coyote Point load-balancer bug.
            #    If the last field is User-agent, and it ends with "m" but doesn't otherwise contain "m",
            #    a Coyote Point load balancer will drop the packet.  So we add an extra header
            #    that really isn't necessary.
            req.add_header('Accept', '*/*')         # add unnecessary header
            print("MyURLOpener opening request: %s %s" % (purl, repr(req.header_items())))   ## ***TEMP***
            result = urllib2.urlopen(req, None, kdefaultsockettimeout)        # do the open
        except UnicodeError:                        # bad domain name syntax in Unicode format
            raise socket.gaierror("Syntax error in domain name")    # treat as get-address-error error
        except urllib2.HTTPError as message :
            raise InfoException(purl, u'HTTP error - %s.' % (unicode(message.code)))
        except urllib2.URLError as message :
            message = getattr(message,'reason',message)        # use "Reason" if available"
            raise InfoException(purl, 'HTTP error - %s.' % (unicode(message)))
        return(result)                              # return result of open
#   Main program
def main() :
    retrydelay = 60                                 # wait 60 seconds before retry
    for tries in range(100) :
        print("Try %d:" % (tries,))
        try :
            fd = open("")                  # URL causing problem
            print(" Opened OK.")
        except (InfoException,EnvironmentError,) as message:
            print(" Open FAILED: %s " % (message,))
            print("Waiting %d seconds before retry." % (retrydelay,))
239  Bitcoin / Mining / Re: Miner photo 'porn' on: October 13, 2014, 07:04:04 PM
Oh man... what I would do for those parts...
Ask for them in six months. They'll be worthless then.
240  Economy / Speculation / Re: Poll: Bitcoin price by end of 2014? on: October 13, 2014, 08:12:36 AM
Although I would love for it to be higher, I predict the price on January 1, 2015 will be $350.
That's reasonable. Really, since the China bubble collapsed and Mt. Gox went bust, Bitcoin has been kind of quiet. News of adoption of Bitcoin as a payment method seems to have no effect on price. The cost of mining has no effect on price. There's no particular reason for the price to go anywhere. it's more of a random walk.
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